Streaming on Twitch is a tried and true way to make money playing videos. You must become a Twitch Affiliate to monetize your stream and take advantage of all the ways to earn on the platform.
As a former streamer, I got two separate Twitch accounts to affiliate status in less than 30 days and helped countless others build and grow their streams.
I can help you, too!
Here’s how to become a Twitch Affiliate fast.
Table of Contents
How To Become a Twitch Affiliate Fast
You must start with the basics to reach affiliate status and make money on Twitch. First, we’ll provide a quick overview of Twitch as a platform, then dive into the requirements for affiliation and provide helpful tips and tools for meeting those requirements as quickly as possible.
What is Twitch?
Twitch is an online gaming platform connecting gamers with people who enjoy watching gameplay.
Streamers share their wins, showcase new games, and create communities around their favorite franchises. Many fans prefer to watch others play than to play themselves, but they also enjoy the engagement with like-minded people who share their passions.
Many people make pocket money on Twitch, while a handful of streamers earn full-time income showcasing their gameplay. A small subset of streamers make it big, earning millions of dollars playing video games.
How To Get Started on Twitch
Twitch allows anyone to sign up and start streaming for free.
You’ll need some software and hardware to get started. Check out our Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Stream for more information on setting up your stream for success.
Once you get everything set up, you can work on gaining affiliate status.
What Are the Requirements to be a Twitch Affiliate?
Twitch outlined four basic requirements all streamers must achieve to score an invite to their affiliate program:
- Reach 50 Followers
- Stream for 8 Hours
- Stream on 7 Different Days
- Reach an Average of 3 Viewers
The requirements are based on a 30-day period.
Twitch wants you to stream for at least 500 minutes (about 8 hours) on seven unique broadcast days. You can’t stream once per month for 8 hours and call it a day; you have to stream at least seven days per month.
It’s not just about time, though. Twitch must ensure people are watching you before letting you become an affiliate.
You need to have an average of three or more viewers per thirty-day period, and you need to have at least 50 followers on the platform.
These requirements seem daunting, but it’s doable in less than 30 days!
Become a Twitch Affiliate: 3 Steps To Monetizing Your Stream
Now, to answer the big question: how do you get there?
You can do it quickly, but you have to want it. Achieving affiliation status requires a mix of dedication, scheduling, networking, and performance. You need to stream regularly, but you also need to convince people to watch your stream.
Step 1: Dedication
Putting in the Hours
The first step is actually streaming on Twitch, which is a considerable time commitment.
Remember, Twitch won’t even consider you unless you stream for at least 500 minutes and seven days a month. That can be a lot for people with full-time jobs, family obligations, school, and other things going on in their lives.
You Need To Do More than the Minimum
Those are just the minimum requirements.
You will probably need to stream even more to build an audience (and build a rapport with that audience).
Think about it – would you rather watch a streamer that’s only on for an hour or two twice a week? That’s not enough time to get to know them and engage with their content.
Creating a Schedule is Crucial for Success
Creating a streaming schedule is vital to growth. It helps you commit specific times to grow your channel and lets audiences know when they can expect to see you.
Scheduling Makes it Better for Fans
Many fans sign into Twitch to see their favorite streamers. They want to know that you’ll be there when they expect you and don’t want to be left waiting. A set schedule offers them consistency, which is essential, especially when you’re first starting.
Imagine randomly finding an excellent new streamer. You engage with them, enjoy their chats, and hit that follow button. But then, they disappear for three weeks.
Are you going to go back? Or will you forget all about that interaction after so much time?
Scheduling Helps You Treat It Like a Business
It also helps you take your stream seriously as a business and mentally prepare for your performances. It allows you to build your stream around your life so you can focus on it when you’re “on.”
Here’s what you need to consider when creating your schedule.
Consider Your Obligations
You must create a schedule that works with your other obligations, like a full-time job, family, or household chores. You will not be able to stick with a schedule that prevents you from taking care of your other responsibilities.
It Takes Sacrifice
Sometimes, fun things pop up. You must be willing to say no to that random happy hour if it interferes with your stream. Would you call off work to go to a happy hour?
There may also be times when you don’t feel like streaming. You should stick with your stream unless you’re sick or need a mental health day. If you wouldn’t call off work, you shouldn’t call off your stream.
Life Must Come First
You can’t get so obsessed with your schedule that you miss out on life.
Changing things up is okay if you have an emergency or special occasion. If stuff like this pops up, let your fans/followers know via social media or email so they’re not surprised. You can also set a panel on your Twitch channel notifying them of the schedule change.
But I caution you that “life happening” shouldn’t just be “Meh, I’d rather do something else tonight.”
Maintaining a schedule is the best way to keep your regular followers happy and keep them coming back.
Timing Your Stream
The timing of your stream is critical to success. Of course, you have to work around your schedule, but once you’ve determined your free hours, you must consider when your audience will likely be present and when the competition will be the lowest.
Twitch is a multi-national company with people worldwide active on the platform. That means there will be people around no matter what time you stream.
However, if you live in the US and want to cater to a US audience, you must consider that most of your audience may only be available between 4 pm and 10 pm.
Unfortunately, that’s also when the bulk of your competition will be online.
Many streamers build audiences by catering to a niche crowd who works evenings and weekends by streaming in the morning or early afternoon. Others go live super late at night to cater to night owls.
Consider when your audience will likely be available, and try to work your schedule into those hours.
Pay Attention To Your Average Viewer Counts
A massive caveat to sticking to a schedule must be addressed.
Putting too much time in can also hurt your chances of becoming a Twitch affiliate.
Streaming for 100 hours to no viewers will hurt your average viewer count. If you’re having an off night without viewers, it might be better to turn the stream off.
This guideline helped me achieve Twitch Affiliate quickly. I was so close to the three average viewers I could taste it, so I ended my stream when my third viewer had to drop off for the night. I didn’t want to risk my average by hoping another person would pop in.
You must be strategic about your streaming hours when you’re close to that magic number.
Pro Tip 1: Be Entertaining!!
Step 2: Getting People to Come to Your Stream
One of the biggest challenges in streaming is getting people to watch you.
Twitch abounds with gamers. Millions of people are trying to make it on the platform, just like you.
It’s hard to stand out, and it’s hard for people to find you. You may have the most entertaining stream on the planet, but if people don’t know about it, they aren’t going to watch.
Here’s how new streamers can get folks to watch their streams.
Networking isn’t easy. Not only do you have to build your Twitch following, but you have to build communities elsewhere as well.
It’s tough, but it’s worth the effort. Social media, Discord, and Twitch are the three best places to network.
Social media offers an easy, free way to advertise your stream.
When I streamed, I primarily used Twitter (now known as X) because it was the most accessible platform to connect with like-minded people and create a community.
The Twitter gaming community was fantastic! I have made awesome streamer friends on the platform, and they are some of the most supportive people I’ve had the pleasure of engaging with.
If you are trying to become a Twitch Affiliate, you need to be on X. You can share your Twitch link, advertise when you are streaming, and make friends who will want to support you. It’s an all-around win for everyone!
There is no way I would have become a Twitch affiliate so quickly without the help of Twitter.
Although the platform has changed immensely in the past few years, it’s still a great place to connect with other streamers and build a community off Twitch.
You can also advertise through any of the other big social media sites. You can share clips on TikTok or Instagram, advertise to your friends and family on Facebook, and network with other gamers on any of those platforms.
Tips for Networking on Social Media
Many streamers sign up for social media, post their “I’m live” links, and don’t do anything else.
That’s not networking.
You must engage with people on social media if you want them to follow you over to Twitch. Show your personality, share photos and videos of your gameplay, ask thought-provoking questions, and build a community on each platform. Some will check out your Twitch stream, some won’t, but a diverse audience will help you grow your brand.
You must have Discord if you want to take gaming seriously.
There are tons of servers dedicated to helping streamers grow their streams. To find them, engage with other small streamers on Twitter and follow Twitch growth channels both on and off the platform. Many have Discord servers dedicated to helping people grow their communities.
Most serious gamers have their own servers, which offer unique opportunities to engage with people who enjoy the same content you enjoy. These servers allow you to make friends and build relationships.
Be sure to follow each channel’s rules when engaging on Discord. Don’t spam your “I’m live” links, and don’t consider each server your personal advertising platform. Discord is about making friends and building relationships, not about self-promotion.
Make Your Own Server
There’s one place on Discord where you can promote yourself all you want – in your own server.
If you are serious about growing your stream into a legitimate business, you must have your own Discord server.
Your server should be a place where fans can engage with you more personally. Many small streamers use their personal servers to connect with other small streamers and help each other grow. How you want to use it is up to you, but you should definitely have one.
If you don’t have time to moderate, set up bots like MEE6 to do the work for you.
Twitch is the perfect platform to network with other small streamers.
Find people streaming into the void, pop in, and say hello. If you enjoy them and their content, give them a follow. Often, they will follow you back, and if they have time, they’ll check out your steam in return. It’s a great way to make new friends and show support to your fellow streamers.
Remember, there’s no obligation for them to support you in return. Not everyone meshes with everyone else, and some folks are not interested in following others on the platform. Don’t get pushy, and don’t demand a follow back. That’s rude.
Either way, you can feel good about making someone’s day by watching their stream for a little bit.
Bonus – Reddit
Reddit is technically a social media platform, but it deserves its own section because it offers unique networking opportunities.
The online forum has numerous communities dedicated to Twitch, gaming, streaming, and supporting fellow streamers.
Find communities that interest you and engage with like-minded individuals. Make sure you are following all the rules of the subreddit, though.
Pro Tip 2: Advertise! People Need To Find Your Stream!
2. Choose the Right Game
Choosing the right game is essential to getting Twitch viewers. You have to consider the game’s popularity, your relationship to the game, and your niche.
You need to play a popular game, but one that’s not so popular that everyone else is streaming it. Avoid games dominated by the most popular streamers and those with thousands of other people streaming them. It’s hard to get noticed when there’s too much competition.
However, you also need to avoid games nobody cares about. The first time I tried streaming, in 2018, I played Bubble Bobble, an old-school regular Nintendo game that hardly anyone has ever heard of.
Nobody is searching for Bubble Bobble, and nobody wants to watch someone play a game they don’t know.
I had a big fat zero viewers.
You need to find a balance between these two extremes.
Many people fail at Twitch because they pick a popular game they don’t like. If you’re not having a good time, your audience won’t have a good time.
Pick games that you enjoy playing.
To Niche or Not?
Many people find extreme success on Twitch playing one game or franchise, while others who call themselves “variety streamers” mix it up.
There’s no right or wrong option, but you must do what works best for you. If you’re terrific at a particular series and can play for hours without getting bored, you might want to consider niching down to that series. If you get bored quickly and like playing many different games, consider becoming a variety streamer.
Some folks find a balance between the two by sticking with a specific genre rather than a specific game. You may want to become a horror streamer or stick to MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games).
Each method has pros and cons, but the best path is the one you can happily stick with.
Step 3: Keeping your Viewers
Keeping those precious viewers on your stream is the final step to becoming a Twitch Affiliate fast.
How do you get people to stay and watch your stream, which keeps your average viewer count up?
Here are the four best ways to keep viewers engaged with your stream.
People watch streamers for one reason: entertainment. Viewers tune in to their favorite channels to relax and enjoy great content.
The best streamers are personable and entertaining. And they showcase that, whether they have one viewer or one thousand viewers.
Talking to yourself can feel awkward, but you have to power through. You must give viewers who randomly pop in a reason to stay. If you’re quietly playing your game, they’ll probably leave (unless you’re a superstar – talented folks can get away with less engagement, but they offer entertainment value in the form of unique skills).
Viewers want to hear your voice. Talk about what you are doing in the game and why, talk about your day, tell jokes, have fun! People watch Twitch to have a good time, so you have to give it to them.
When I stream older games, like Mario, I tell stories from my childhood about what it was like playing when they first came out. I also talk about my favorite characters in the game, how complicated the levels are, and my favorite items.
But I don’t just focus on the game. I’ll talk about my day, life, and anything else I can think of. It’s hard to keep a conversation with yourself going, but it gets easier over time. Practice makes perfect.
Engage with Your Chat
People crave connection. Many Twitch viewers join smaller channels because they want to be seen and heard.
Connect with the people who check you out by saying hi. Thank them for joining. Monitor the chat and ask them questions. Have conversations with them, or ask them for help with puzzles in your game.
Treat your viewers like they’re your friends. They’ll be much more likely to stay (and return!) if they feel welcome and if they feel a personal connection with you. As a bonus, you get to make friends in the process!
Keep in mind that not everyone likes to chat. Some folks just want to watch, while others like to have stuff on in the background. Never try to force someone to chat who doesn’t seem interested. Thank them for coming, and tell them you’re happy they are there whether they want to talk.
Play Party Games
Party games offer a fun opportunity to get your viewers involved with your stream. Games like Jackbox, an assortment of short party games, allow your viewers to play along with you on their cell phones.
It gives you something to talk about while keeping your viewers engaged.
Party games shouldn’t be your primary stream. They should be fun breaks from your regular content. Hosting a party game session now and again is a great way to mix things up and meet new friends.
People looking for some entertainment will join streams simply because the streamer is playing Jackbox. If they like you, they’ll follow and often visit when you play your regular games.
Viewers you meet playing Jackbox can become dedicated fans if you welcome them to your community and treat them like friends.
Pro Tip 3: Be Supportive! People Will Help You if You Help Them!
Show Support To Get Support
Streaming is not a one-person show. It’s a community.
One of the best ways to gain and keep followers is to support other small streamers. Follow them on Twitch, engage with their chats, and share their content on social media.
Showing this support will give you a nice dopamine boost (because it always feels good to help others!), but it will also return to you. If you support others, they will support you.
My genuine support of others helped me achieve Affiliate status quickly. I constantly engaged with streamer friends on Twitter, even when I didn’t have time to stream. I follow people and watch their streams. When I’m too busy to engage, I’ll just leave a friend’s stream on in the background to help them get their viewer count up.
And guess what? They usually reciprocate. Being a great Twitch friend pays off in spades.
But Don’t Just Support To Get Support
People can differentiate between genuine and tit-for-tat support. Of course, all small streamers have reciprocation in mind, but if that’s your only goal, you will likely fail.
Building friendships and helping others should be your primary goal. Friends supporting each other is a lovely bonus to help you develop your stream.
Bonus Tip – Give Yourself a Head Start
Here’s a pro tip for getting affiliate status: help yourself out.
Get people you already know to watch your streams.
Friends and Family
Have your partner watch your stream on their mobile device. If you live with roommates, ask them to leave your channel up while you stream.
You could also invite your gamer friends to play with you and have them follow along on their Twitch accounts. A group stream can add a layer of fun and engagement to the chat for your viewers.
However, when using this method, prioritize your chat over your friends. Far too many people try to become streamers by playing with their friends, but they focus on their friends, leaving viewers feeling like a third wheel. Viewers who feel ignored won’t return.
If you have a thriving online community, ask them to help you by lurking in your stream. They don’t have to engage; they just have to sign on with their Twitch accounts.
When I had an average of 2.9 viewers, I asked my Twitter friends to lurk for me. A few of them delivered, which was the push I needed to get past that coveted three average viewers. Be truthful in what you’re after; you never know when someone might be willing to give you a hand.
How It Helps
Obviously, the most significant boost is that any viewers count towards that three-viewer average you need to become a Twitch Affiliate, but it also helps in another way.
People are naturally drawn to groups. Someone browsing Twich, looking for someone new to watch, is more likely to tune into a stream that already has a viewer or two than one who doesn’t have any.
You’re a Twitch Affiliate – Now What?
Unlocking Twitch Affiliate status is just the first step on your streaming journey. Now, you must focus on building your following, earning money, and considering whether you want to shoot for the stars by joining the Twitch Partnership Program.
How Do Twitch Affiliates Make Money
Becoming a Twitch Affiliate lets you unlock the best money-making opportunities on the platform.
The status allows viewers to subscribe to your content for a small monthly fee, granting them custom access to emotes and subscriber exclusives. You earn money with each subscriber.
Unfortunately, convincing folks to subscribe is much more complicated than getting them to follow, but affiliate status also allows you to earn in other ways.
Twitch Affiliates also earn money through donations, cheers, and ad share. Cheers allow viewers to gift you “bits,” which are small tips and a way for them to support your channel without subscribing. Streamers can also earn through affiliate marketing and sponsored streams.
Building any of these revenue sources into a full-time income takes time and effort, but the results can be extraordinary. Check out our complete guide to making money on Twitch for more information.
How Much Money Do Twitch Affiliates Make?
I know it’s the dream to get paid to play video games, but the reality is that most Twitch affiliates don’t make enough to quit their day job. An unofficial Twitter poll from 2017 showed that about 50% of affiliates make less than fifty bucks a month!
Most people don’t have enough time or energy to dedicate to Twitch to make it a full-time income source.
That doesn’t mean earning a living is impossible; it also doesn’t mean you can’t turn it into a profitable side hustle.
Some affiliates make over $700 monthly, which is incredible side hustle money. Others only make a few hundred dollars every few months, but that’s not bad for getting paid to play video games in your spare time.
The real money is getting to Partner status.
The Next Step: Become A Twitch Partner
After becoming a Twitch Affiliate, you can start working towards the next step: joining the Twitch Partnership Program.
Twitch’s Partner Program’s eligibility requirements are much higher than affiliation requirements.
You have to stream for over 25 hours on 12 different days, which is doable if you want to put in that much effort, but you also have to have an average of 75 viewers! That’s a lot!
Do you remember how hard it was just to get five?
Even if you meet the requirements to become a Twitch partner, you still may not get in.
Twitch reviews all partner applications manually, and there is no information on exactly what they are looking for.
The requirements listed are the bare minimum. Most partners go above and beyond the minimum before applying.
How Much Money Do Twitch Partners Make?
It’s challenging to give a breakdown of how much money Twitch Partners make because there are so many different ways to monetize, and most partners aren’t transparent with their income.
But we can estimate based on what we know about how Twitch pays.
The top-earning Twitch Partners can make 20K monthly just on subscriptions alone! But that means you have to have about forty thousand subs, which, although possible, is quite tricky.
Partners also get a share in ad revenue. The average payout for ads is about $250 for every 100 subscribers.
Remember, these folks treat streaming like a business. Although it’s possible to make this type of cash, it’s not likely that everyone will be drawing in these massive crowds.
My Experience Becoming a Twitch Affiliate
Some of you may be wondering who I am and how I know how to get to Twitch affiliate quickly.
I used to stream on Twitch. It was a fun hobby, and I explored trying to make a full-time income from the platform but didn’t have the time to commit to it.
I became a Twitch Affiliate in three weeks. I also helped an ex-boyfriend become a Twitch Affiliate, a status we achieved in less than 30 days.
My First Experience With Twitch
My experience with Twitch began with my ex-boyfriend in 2018.
He was unemployed and had a lot of time to dedicate to streaming, which made it easy for him to reach affiliate quickly. I helped him with networking (since he had never used Twitter at all) and by being one of the viewers in his stream.
I also was on screen a lot, which probably helped him more than he’d like to admit.
Building My Own Stream
Although I first dabbled with my own Twitch account in 2018, I didn’t take it seriously. I focused on his stream more than my own. I streamed on time between 2018 and 2020, which is insufficient to become an affiliate.
In April 2020, I decided to give streaming another go. I wasn’t consistent initially, as I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it. However, by the end of June, I decided I wanted to take it seriously.
I made a streaming schedule and committed to it. I treated streaming like a business and followed all the steps above to reach affiliate status as quickly as possible.
My first stream was on June 20th; by July 10th, I had reached affiliate status. I already had about 15 followers from the past two years, so starting from scratch probably would have taken me another week or so.
You Can Do It, Too
If I make two Twitch accounts become Twitch Affiliates in less than thirty days, you can do it too. Follow the steps outlined above and watch your Twitch community grow!
Melanie Allen is an American journalist and happiness expert. She has bylines on MSN, the AP News Wire, Wealth of Geeks, Media Decision, and numerous media outlets across the nation. She covers a wide range of topics centered around self-actualization and the quest for a fulfilling life.